American flag flies after the Greensburg, KS tornado

Well, no, nothing bad has happened to me, but isn’t that a question that the world wants answered?

Earthquakes, floods, tornados, drought, fire. All have taken a toll on our faith this long hot summer.

I go to a church where we share joys and concerns during a time of prayer. It bothers me a little that the list of joys is usually much shorter than the litany of concerns. The list of people in need of a touch from God for everything from a job to a miraculous healing is long, shared with the Body by someone who cares. We pray for those we know and we pray for those we don’t. The prayers are listed in the bulletin the next Sunday as a reminder, sent out on an email newsletter that week and many people write them on a slip of paper that is taken home and prayed over.

We take prayer seriously in our church and that’s good. We’ve seen miraculous healings and stories of redemption and restoration. God is faithful.

Why then, isn’t the list of joys longer?

I don’t want to indict the people of our church. I know and love them. They are grateful people over all, but they are like most of us. We forget just how blessed we are.

Why is that?

One answer is that life is hard. I read a quote recently attributed to Katherine Hepburn. “Life is hard. After all, it kills you.” It would be funny if it weren’t so true.

Jesus said a similar thing. ” In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 Just before that He says that He has told us these things so that in Him, we may have peace.

And that, my friends,  is the Good News. Not that life isn’t hard. Not that sometimes we look around and wonder where God is in all this mess we call life, but that even in the muck and the mire, we can have peace in Jesus, resting assured that even though there is trouble in this world, Jesus overcomes.

Oh, it sounds kind of pie-in-the-sky, doesn’t it? We struggle through this life waiting for the next, this world is not our home and all that. I can hear the outcry already. “But what about now? Doesn’t God care now? I’m struggling now!”

To make sense of this life and the trouble it brings, we have to get the big picture.

It’s not about us. It’s about a God who created us and gave us free will. Humanity chose sin and we reap the consequences.

Where is God when bad things happen? He is there awaiting our cry for help.

If our chief purpose is to know and love God, could it be that He allows circumstances so that we know we need Him?

What about those times when we are wronged? When it is not our choice, but when someone sins against us? Where is God then?

He is there waiting to heal and restore.

The Bible says that Creation groans for its redemption (Romans 8:22). Is God allowing circumstances like flood, tornado and earthquakes to remind us of our need for redemption? Is He using these natural events to draw people to Himself? Are we paying attention?

II Corinthians 6:2 says that today is the day of salvation. If you don’t know Him, is God trying to get your attention?

People all over the world are raging at God over the bad things that are happening, asking how a good God could allow these things when the answer is that we have chosen to sin over and over again.

Just like our long list of needs that outweighs the list of our joys, we accuse God for what He hasn’t done when He has already done more for us than we deserve. He sent His only Son to die a death upon a cross that we might live if only we accept Him.

Where is God when bad things happen? Right beside us, walking us through it, overcoming this world.

Is that your experience or do you need to ask Jesus to come into your life?

Before I close, I want to thank the great ladies at the Wesleyan Church in Bird City for the great reception to my performance of the Woman at the Well last Saturday. Fabulous food, warm fellowship, laughter and even a few tears. I love it when Sister Chicks get together! Please check my schedule. Fall is filling up! If you are looking for a speaker for your ladies event, church event, seminar or retreat, please let me know.

May you be blessed on the journey!